Considering the exceptionally important role of today’s teachers in the development of digitally competent and research-oriented students prepared for the modern educational methods and labour market requirements, there is a need for the systematic development of the digital competences of the educational and administrative staff of the pilot schools, through their inclusion in educational programmes and the evaluation of their developed competences.
The aim is also to improve the digital competences of the employees of the agencies competent for the promotion of the development of the educational system in the Republic of Croatia and its support, so as to enable them to provide adequate professional assistance to the educational staff of the schools, as well as to plan and implement the programmes for the improvement of their digital competence.
The development of the educational programme and the implementation of the education and evaluation will have several phases:
1. The creation of a framework for the digital competence of beneficiaries in schools
In the first phase, three frameworks for digital competence will be created – for the principals, for the teachers and expert associates* and for the administrative staff.
The creation of the framework will make use of the existing frameworks for digital competence in the EU, which will be analysed according to a pre-defined methodology, as well as adapted and upgraded according to the specific characteristics and needs of particular beneficiary groups in schools and of the educational system of the Republic of Croatia.
Along with the frameworks, a guide (publication) will also be prepared and published, containing the description and purpose of the framework, the methodology of its creation, the method of its use etc.
2. The creation of curricula for the education of beneficiaries in schools
In the following phase, based on the developed frameworks for digital competence and the results of the initial survey of the situation and needs of the beneficiaries in schools, three curricula will be developed for the programme of the systematic development of digital competence of the mentioned three beneficiary groups.
The curricula will define the learning outcomes, the educational content, the teaching methods and styles (the educational model) and the method of evaluation of the level of development of digital competence (the evaluation model).
3. Development of the educational content
The educational content for principals, teachers, expert associates and administrative staff will be created based on the developed curricula and will also include the educational content for the use of e-services.
The educational content will also include tools for the evaluation of the level of development of digital competence and will be accompanied by digital guides.
4. The implementation of the education of beneficiaries and the evaluation of the development of their digital competence
The educational content will be implemented through a combination of classroom workshops in the Regional Training Centres (ROCs) which will be established for that purpose, as well as through modular online courses. The ROCs will also be used for other types of education/programmes organised by the agencies/organisations competent for the promotion of the development of the educational system in the Republic of Croatia and its support, but also for the education/programmes organised by the local communities (e.g. those for the unemployed, or for the purposes of additional schooling, retraining etc.).
The initial education of the beneficiaries on the uses of ICT equipment for the schools in the pilot project will include:
- education on the network infrastructure and the network control and management system for the persons who will provide technical support to the schools;
- education of educational staff on the use of devices which they will receive and education on the use of teaching equipment and classroom management systems.
The beneficiaries of the educational programme to be developed as part of the pilot project can be divided into three groups:
- beneficiaries from the pilot schools (primary beneficiaries): principals, teachers and expert associates, as well as administrative staff;
- beneficiaries from the agencies competent for the promotion of the development of the educational system in the Republic of Croatia and its support;
- persons who will provide technical support to the schools in the pilot project.
In the group of beneficiaries which includes teachers and expert associates, all the science teachers, as well as a part of the teachers of other subjects/fields, will be included in the education. In addition to the teachers, all the principals, expert associates and administrative staff of the pilot schools are also planned to be included in the programme of the systematic development of digital competence.
Support to the beneficiaries in the introduction of ICT, digital educational content and modern methods into learning and teaching will be provided by mobile expert teams, in the form of on-site professional and consulting assistance in a particular school.
* Includes those employees who work with students but do not teach; for instance, school librarians, school psychologists, school pedagogues, and special educational needs professionals.